Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' / Gentsch White Canadian hemlock

Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' is a low-maintenance dwarf that selection of Canadian hemlock that grows well in medium to full shade, although it can handle full sun in northern latitudes. Like all hemlocks, which are under-story trees, this conifer should not be allowed to dry out during prolonged heat spells. The heat, combined with full sun, will scorch the white new growth for which it is prized.

Iseli Nursery of Boring, Oregon describes it as, "a variegated globose shrub. Creamy white branch tips are especially intense in Fall and Winter. Annual shearing is advised to maintain a compact habit and to promote the white new growth." After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4.5 feet (1.5 m) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the 1960s by Otto Gentsch of Long Island, New York, USA. It was first introduced under the illegitimate cultivar name, 'Variegata Gentsch.'

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Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' — a choice specimen at PorterHowse Farms, Sandy, Oregon.
Photo by Don Howse
Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' in a private garden in Kansas, October 2006.
Photo by David Stegmaier
Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' — a 15-year-old plant in a private garden in Brunswick, Maine, 2013.
Photo by Sean Callahan
Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Sean Callahan

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